Forgeworld’s Horus Heresy Choosing a Legion: Or How I Can’t Make Up My Mind

Horus ArtWith Christmas having come and gone and knowing that many of you probably put Forgeworld models on your list, I want to take a moment to rant discus the problem, or brilliant marketing strategy, the Forgeworld has presented to us. Simply, how do we choose a Legion.

I have not pointed this out in my tacticas, but I’m sure many of you are aware. The problem with choosing a legion is that fact that each legion has its own unique set of rules, wargear, units, and characters. How does this differ from choosing any other 40k army I can hear you say. Frankly, the difference is that you’ll be dealing mostly with Forgeworld, which is a double-edged sword. The most obvious fact is that Forgeworld models and accessories cost more. Before I, or anyone else, begins to start sinking a lot of hard-earned money into a Horus Heresy army, I would really like to know what each legion brings to the table. What interesting wargear or unit comes with a Dark Angel legion, a Night Lords legion, or a Ultramarines legion? The price issue is generally offset by the detail and general quality of the sculpt that Forgeworld offers; however, it makes the decision processor that much more difficult. We have all seen the dynamic and awesome Angron model, but what will Horus, Lion, or Konrad Cuze look like. This is added to the unique unit that each legion gets. As of right now, we are only left to wonder what the other legions will have and look like.

I am happy to say that there are a few ways to go about choosing a legion. These are just things that I have thought up over the months that is helping me to narrow down my options. There are only two methods I’m using to choose my space marine legion: character and appearance.

Character

Since all the legions, as of right now, are pulling from the same army list, play style will probably not differ greatly between legions. Another point to consider is the fact there will probably not be a tournament for Horus Heresy legions nor will a tournament allow them, so “competitive” or “tournament” list building or play style will not be a factor. I have settled on the fluff,  themed, or character approach to choosing a legion. Since I will probably only be able to playing the legion in a campaign or in an Apocalypse game, I looking at which army’s back story I like more, and with all the Horus Heresy novels that’s not very hard to do. A good guide line anyone could use. Which space marine army back story speaks to you? What is it about the character of the army that you like? What actual named characters are in the army that you gravitate to?

Appearance

This is something that we all use to help us choose an army. How does the army look? When you’re going to be painting 100+ models you’ll want a color scheme and appearance that you really like. The lush purple and bright gold of the Emperor’s Children is great and wonderful look as is the sea green of the Sons of Horus. The one hick-up to this guideline is the legions’ unique units and wargear.  I can only imagine what cool bits and conversions can be done for these particular units. In the case of Death Guard, how cool would it look to see most of your sergeants carrying scythes?

I hope this may help some of you, but I would like to hear what some of you are using to help you decide on which legion to go with. I’m still debating, but I’m getting close to making a decision.

Space Wolves Tournament List: Deciding Which Unit to Take

Space Wolves Codex ArtI’m about a month and a half out from Coastal Assault, my first big tournament. Over the last two months or so since I decided that I would go, I’ve been busy putting together models to round out squads and units that I plan to take as well as vigorously play test the list that I planned to take. Well, I’ve finally hit that point were I’m shaving 5 points here and there. Basically, I’m at the point where everything is solid and works solidly together. However, I’m also at a point where I’m torn between two units. To make things a bit more clear, I’ll show you the two lists that I’m juggling between.

List 1

HQ: 4 Rune Priests with Chooser of the Slain and Melta Bombs 1 in Terminator Armor with Wolf tooth Necklace, Master of Runes, and Saga of the Beastslayer

Troops: 3 Ten man Grey Hunter squads with Mark of the Wulfen, Banner, and 2 Plasma Guns. All in Rhinos

Elites: 8 man Wolf Guard Squad in Power Armor with Combi-weapons, 3 Power Weapons, and 3 Melta Bombs in a Drop Pod

Heavy Support: 3 Six man Long Fang squads with Missile Launchers

The idea is that three of the four Rune Priest would sit back with the Long Fang squads and cast Prescience while the fourth, who would have the Space Wolves powers, would go in the Drop Pod with the Wolf Guard. The drop pod would drop in mid-field or where ever I needed it and act similar to a Sternguard squad. This would give me four 24″ bubbles of psychic defence as well as. Not to mention the Rune Priest in the drop pod would be well in range to fire off his powers. Rhinos would move forward to claim objectives.

List 2

HQ 3 Rune Priests with Chooser of the Slain and Melta Bombs

Troops: 3 Ten man Grey Hunter squads with Mark of the Wulfen, Banner, and 2 Plasma Guns. All in Rhinos

Elites: 8 man Wolf Guard Squad in Power Armor with Combi-weapons, 6 Power Weapons, 3 Melta Bombs, and Arjac in a Drop Pod

Heavy Support: 3 Six man Long Fang squads with Missile Launchers

Similar to the previous list, but this time Arjac is in the drop pod. The Wolf Guard are built to be a bit more close combat based. Again, the drop pod would drop either in the mid-field or near a unit I want destroyed. The combined shooting of the Wolf Guard and Arjac’s hammer throw would kill most units along with vehicles. If they are assault, it’s not too much of an issue as I have a good chance of getting the Counter-Attack, and some poor character has to fight Arjac.

I’ve play tested the core parts of both these lists to death, and can say with a certain level of confidence that it is solid and good. I just need to decide between a fourth Rune Priest or Arjac.

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Terminator Squad Tactics

Pre-heresy Death Guard ColorTerminator armor, the fruits of the Tactical Dreadnought Armor project, is a powerful and priceless addition to a legions arsenal. Impervious to all but the heaviest of enemy fire, legion veterans are able to march into the heart of an enemy force and destroy it with ruthless power.

A terminator squad is a terminator squad. We all know how good a strong a terminator squad can be. Sadly, legion terminator cannot be built into the god unit of 6th edition, thunder hammer/ storm shield terminators. However, we will look at what good builds are available.

Basics

The terminator squad comes with 5 men with combi-bolter and power weapon. They have two nice rules: Implacable Advance, which makes them scoring units in mission where Troops are scoring units, and Prototype Weaponry, which allows them to have the legion specific weapons.

Options

Take an additional 5 men                                                  Depends on the points you have. Generally, the basic 5 guys will get the job done.

For every 5 models the unit can have

Heavy flamer                                                                       A good option to take if you have the squad in a transport

Reaper autocannon                                                           An option to take if you are foot slogging the squad

Plasma Blaster                                                                   My personal pick for this squad.

Any terminator can replace his combi-bolter with the following:

Combi-weapon                                                                  A personal favorite for me and a lot of other people

Volkite Charger                                                                 I actually would take this for the whole squad

Any terminator can replace his power weapon with the following:

Power fist                                                                           At 5 points, this is a great option

Lightning claw                                                                  I still have a hard time seeing the use of this option anymore unless paired with a second

Chainfist                                                                            Personally, I’d leave this. You have so many other things that can take out vehicles

Thunder hammer                                                           A power fist is cheaper and does basically the same job

Any terminator can take a second lightning claw   You can create traditional assault terminators which will eat through a unit

Terminator sergeant can have a grenade harness   A nice little option to have since you can toss out 2 small blast templates

The whole squad can have Cataphractii armor       You get a 4+ invulnerable save but become Slow and Purposeful. Personally, I would take it

Builds

If you ask five people how to load out a squad of terminators, you’ll probably get five different answers. We all have our favorite combination of weapons for terminators. However, there are a couple of key points to remember about a legion terminator squad. First, they can’t Deep Strike unless the mission, legion rule, or warlord trait says they can. Second, you can not have the thunder hammer/ storm shield build, so that will probably throw a monkey wrench in how some people generally play terminators.

With that in mind, we have to remind ourselves what terminators generally do. For the most part they either have a powerful HQ choice with them, or they roam around the board rolling over squads. I should also point out that the squad does need a Land Raider transport. This increases their survivability as well as gets them to where you need and want them. Finally with those points at the forefront of our minds like look at some builds.

Option 1

5 man squad, sergeant with grenade harness, power fists, Plasma blaster, Cataphractii armor – My all-purpose squad. It rides around in its Land Raider jumping out here and there to take out a unit. With the Plasma blaster, you have the ability to take a couple of pop shots at a vehicle, or threaten anything with a 2+ armor value. Up the squad to 10 man to get another Plasma blaster.

Option 2

5 man squad, sergeant with grenade harness and power fist, Heavy flamer, Volkite chargers, and Cataphractii armor – This build is mainly used to go after Troop choices or run in to claim and hold an objective. Volkite chargers allow for additional attacks for every un-saved wound, and you don’t have to worry about the one time use of the combi-weapon. As with the previous build, you can add five more guys to get another heavy flamer or plasma blaster. Lightning claws can be used in place of the standard power weapons if you are worried about wounding.

Option 3

10 man squad, sergeant with grenade harness, Cataphractii armor, and twin lightning claws – The good old vanilla assault terminator squad. You can have them charge out of a Land Raider and watch them go all Wolverine on a squad. You get a bonus for two close combat weapons and you get to strike at your initiative. The reason for a full ten man squad is the possibility of running into someone with a 2+ armor value. With 40 attacks coming, a failed armor save will come up.

Conclusion

The moment I said terminator squad most of you went into autopilot and figured out your favorite build, and I congratulate you for that. As you have probably seen I did not figure in a particular HQ choice with these squads as I personally would take a Legion Command Squad if I took a Legion Praetor or put the Legion Centurion a completely different squad depending on what consul I gave him. I personally see terminator like I see tactical squads. Don’t over complicate them. They’re a good solid unit that will get the job done.

Holiday Slow Down

Santa Marine

Things have slowed down here as I prepare for the holidays. That and I’ve been focused on finishing the few things I need for Coastal Assault. However, come the first of the year, when I see what all I get for Christmas, things should really pick up. You’ll see more tutorials and tactias as I begin putting together a Legion and Chaos Space Marine army. I’ll also have more battle reports posted, and of course coverage of everything that goes on at Coastal Assault. I’ll continue my long look at the Horus Heresy rule book.

As always, feel free to comment, suggest topics and posts, and follow.

Games & Gears Gameboards Kickstarter

Games&Gear Logo

I just discovered a flegdling company call Games & Gears. The nice thing is that this company seems to want to start off by making game boards similar to Games Workshop’s Realms of Battle, but texture them in a variety of ways. Check out their Kickstarter page for more information, or look them up on Facebook.

They have demo boards for sea/air, cobblestone, cracked earth, and a couple other. They come unpainted or painted depending on your pledge, and make a very nice change of scenery for a game. These aren’t limited just to table top war gaming. They also have tables for collectable card and RPG players.

Check them out and pledge. It’s always nice to have another company besides Games Workshop to buy things from

Horus Heresy Tactica: Legion Destroyer Squad Tactics

Space Marine Squad

The Legion Destroyer squad found its origins during the Unification Wars that wrecked Terra before the Great Crusade, but it but not with Imperial force but with the enemy. Most legions consider the squad and its use as dishonorable and eschew it use. The Destroyer squad is home to troublemakers, outcasts, and Astartes that the legion would like to forget about. Adding to this stigma, the squad uses dark and forbidden technology like Rad-weapons, bio-alchemic, and the clawing burning horror of the Phospex.

I see these squads as a mix between biochemical/nuclear infinity and insurgents, but neither this nor the fluff described in the book really translate well in terms of game play and option builds. In short, the Legion Destroyer squad is an assault squad with a little bit better shooting ability.

Options

Take an additional 5 marines                 Good upgrade as it opens up a second special weapon

The WHOLE squad can take Melta bombs         I really think this is a no brainer

Upgrade to Jump Packs                        A great option for this squad

For every 5 models one can take the following:
Missile Launcher with Suspensor wed & Rad missiles                 The go to weapon for this squad

Volkite Serpenta                                            Leave at home

Hand flamer                                                   A nice little weapon for Over Watch

Plasma Pistol                                                   Another weapon to consider given you can take two

Sergeant may take one of the following
Power weapon                                The cheap and cheerful option

Power Fist                                  I would only take this if you pay the points for Artificer armor

Single Lighting Claw                    I don’t see the point in taking just one, so leave at home

Thunder Hammer                       Power fist is cheaper

Artificer Armor                            Not expensive at is nice for challenges

Three Phosphex bombs             You have to pay for each, but they are nice

 

As you can see, they are pretty much just what I said they were. Assault marines with a bit more shooting. They don’t have much going in the way of special rules except Counter-Attack, which is nice. To begin with, I’ve never been thrilled with the performance of Assault Marines, so I maybe a little jaded towards this unit. They have the same stats as a regular assault squad, the bonus for weapons, and the same for charging. Ultimately, things will be depended on what you want the squad to do.

Option 1
10 man squad, Sergeant with Power Weapon and 3 Phosphex bombs, 2 Missile Launcher and Melta bombs. A relatively cheap build meant to move around and shoot up squads, and then move in to clean up the mess. The drawbacks of the unit would probably keep it to taking out Troop choices. It goes without saying that a Rhino would be a recommended purchase. For an additional 50 points you could get two missile launchers in this squad.

Option 2
10 man squad with Jump Packs, Sergeant with Power Weapon, 3 Phosphex bombs, and Artificer armor. For those who are more inclined to use this unit for close combat here’s a build that shouldn’t disappoint. Your sergeant is built to survive a challenge while attacking at initiative step.  If there looks to be anyone heading towards this squad with a 2+ armor, then chunk a Phosphex bomb at them. As for ranged weapons I would probably go with Plasma Pistols or Hand Flamers. Keep in mind that you can drop the Legion Centurion Moritat in the squad and bring a whole lot of hurt.

Balls-to-the-Wall
10 man squad with Jump Packs, 2 Missile Launchers, Melta bombs, Sergeant with Artificer armor; Power Fist; and3 Phosphex bombs. You have decided to completely flush points down the toilet for a squad built like this. It could probably jump around the board killing whatever it wants. Missiles firing AP 3 small blast templates. Melta bombs blowing up tanks or being slapped into the face of heavier troops. Sergeant with Power Fist and Phosphex bombs that can kill Terminators. Again, drop a Legion Centurion Moritat into this squad and the definition of pain will be changed.

Conclusion

The Legion Destroyer squad is a strong unit on its own, but linking it with a Legion Centurion Moritat or Assault squad and it becomes even stronger. You can use this unit jet up the flank striking at units that are seperated from the main force, jet up the flank and attack units or objectives that are in the opponent’s deployment zone, or simply have them jumping around the board bullying units until your troops or heavier elites come in to clean things up. Another thing to keep in mind about this unit and any other that is reviewed in this tactica is that Legion specific rules are not being applied. I can only imagine how this or some of the other units will turn out when placed into a specific Legion. That alone has the possibility to change the dynamic of many units.  My experience with Space Marine assault squads has been that of lackluster, so I’m still a bit leery. However, I’m sure this unit would change that perspective.

Pensacola Warhammer is Growing

Well with the holiday vacation over, I’ve jumped back into the studio to get back to work on all things Warhammer. A quick update on everything that has been going on behind the scenes here at the blog. Though traffic has slacked off since I was on vacation, the site is getting a lot more people, and they are getting vocal. I’ve started to make more regular appearances at the local game shop to begin generating gaming relationships. I going to see if there is any organization to gathering, and if not maybe start trying to put something together. You can also expect, as time goes on, more input from contributing authors and posts on Warhammer fantasy. Finally, I’ve launched the Pensacola Warhammer youtube channel. There you’ll begin to find battle reports and tutorials. So continue to check back regularly and make sure to follow us both here and at our Youtube channel.

As always leave questions and opinions in the comment section below.